The Art of Knowledge
Yeah, I feel you on all that stuff. Go on with your bad self. Man, this is really fun to have a cooperative blog, I have to say. It's almost like we are in Ghostbusters, and they are like, "Well, we should be fine if we don't cross streams" on our on our ghost shooter pack things. I forget what they are called. But now, we're crossing streams, so who knows whats going to happen. And thats great.
Anyway, yeah see, I realize that this is where you are moving in like a career direction, so I think its entirely appropriate for you to tackle it from the kind of industry analysis perspective that you are. There was a point where I was really into the idea of doing this for work for a long long time, and like, I don't know, making all these things really happen. But I'm kind of not in that place right now, I feel too restless to travel and sleep on floors in weird cities and stuff. But I think it's really important for me to exercise this part of my mind, and who knows, maybe after I get all my ya-ya's out, I'll come back to it, and we'll get all our Harvard buddies to throw down a bunch of capital and then.... oh wait a minute. Hehe.
Okay, back to the matter at hand. A couple things I think are interesting. I remember a few weeks back when I was reading about that John Taylor Gatto guy, he said something to the effect of: it only takes 50 hours of class time to teach kids all the basics of reading, writing and math. He goes on to say all the rest of the time is spent enforcing social management lessons. Shit like that. But I think he's dead on about what he's getting at. That it only takes a ridiculously small amount of time to teach your basic core skill set. I found this to be definitely true. Where, I would give maybe 1 or 2 forty minute lectures to my classes at Catalyst, and then they would exercise those skills the rest of the day, gradually combining all the base elements, until the problems became more conceptual and less skill driven, because the skills had start to become second nature to them. I think this sort of progression is extremely important to think about, and I feel like I'm going to come back to it again and again.
Related to this, I think is, you know how they say "shes reading at a sixth grade level", and if shes in like 3rd grade, that sounds really impressive, but if youre in 9th grade, that makes her sound dumb. I think that sort of thing is all bullshit, because I think that sort of tiered learning and evaluation based on artificial factors like age, totally dont account for important differences in kids. Not a fully formed point in my head yet, but I know somehow this applies, so I'm just throwing it down for the record.
Now this is important
Okay, so I have this author who I really like who writes about learning, and I think you would do well to read a bunch of stuff by her. She studied psychology I think, has a PhD, and basically invented this reading system where she can teach basically anyone to read, with 0% occurrence of dyslexia, even in people with severe mental handicaps or retardation. I'm gonna toss in a few links for you below (they are all nice and short and bite sized).
She writes all about human vs. machine intelligence, and how our traditional educational system was geared towards creating minds which could retain facts and act as databases basically. Just look at standardized tests and quiz shows, which are just pure data recall. But, since we have created computers and started integrating them into our lives in meaningful and useful ways, we have functionally externalized that part of the human mind which we were promoting with this style of learning system.
I'm extrapolating from her work a little bit, but basically, she asks us, what is the use of continuing this sort of data recall based learning system, now that we have computers, which are a billion times more effective at storing and retrieving information in this manner. She also talks a good bit about ADD and shit like that, which she posits is basically the mind's natural reaction against being inundated with too many facts without enough context, and without it being done in a human-centric kind of way.
Alright, thats all for now. I oughta go pretend to do some work.
Link posted by tim boucher : 11:52 AM